Events

  • 1:00 — 4:00
    VIRTUAL EVENT
    The role of governments, IGOS and INGOS in promoting peoplecentred land governance in Africa
    Through the African Union (AU), Africa has established a long-term vision of an integrated, prosperous and peaceful continent, driven by its citizens, representing a dynamic force in the international arena. In its Agenda 2063, a blueprint document adopted by Member Statesin 2013, the AU set an ambitious master plan for the transformation of Africa into the global powerhouse of the future in 50 years. It spells out the seven aspirations that will position Africa as a dominant player in the global arena. Good land governance is undoubtedly critical in achieving Agenda 2063. The implementation of AU’s Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges at regional and national levels is therefore imperative for prosperity and sustainable development in Africa. In addition, processes such as the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in Context of National Food
  • 2:00 — 3:30
    VIRTUAL EVENT
    COVID-19 and Public Health: Indigenous Peoples on the Front Line
    Wednesday, September 2nd, 9:00 AM-10:30 AM EST (3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CEST) Three-quarters of emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans, with Ebola, SARS, MERS and now COVID-19 being examples. Scientists are warning that deforestation, industrial agriculture, illegal wildlife trade, climate change and other types of environmental degradation increase the risk of future pandemics. The COVID-19 pandemic poses a grave health threat to Indigenous Peoples around the world. Indigenous communities already experience poor access to healthcare, significantly higher rates of communicable diseases and lack of access to essential services like sanitation. Local medical facilities are often under-equipped and under-staffed. Even when Indigenous Peoples are able to access healthcare services, they can face stigma and discrimination. This webinar will discuss the connection between land rights, climate and the health of indigenous peoples -- based on the continuous evidence that the damage caused to the planet will bring more zoo-tropic diseases. Officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations (UN) and the World Wildlife Fund International (WWF) have directly linked the emergence of pandemics like Coronavirus to our “broken relationship with nature,” epitomized by the destruction of natural habitats and the collapse of biodiversity. They call for a shift back to ecological and ecosystem integrity, sustainable co-existence with the natural world, values which have underpinned indigenous values for centuries, making Indigenous Peoples key actors in the battle to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  • 2:00 — 3:30
    VIRTUAL EVENT
    COVID-19, Biodiversity and Climate Change: Indigenous Peoples Defining the Path Forward
    Thursday, September 10th, 9:00 AM-10:30 AM EST (3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CEST) Indigenous Peoples and local communities manage more than half of the world´s land. These biodiverse ancestral lands are vital to the people who steward them and the planet we all share. But governments only recognize indigenous and community legal ownership of 10 percent of the world´s lands. Secure tenure is essential for safeguarding the existing forests against external forces. This is specifically true for forests managed by Indigenous Peoples, where much of the world’s carbon is stored. Recent research states that the recognition of customary tenure in these areas is a highly efficient and cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by deforestation. Strengthening the land and resource rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities whose well-being is tied to their forests offers a unique and vital opportunity to combat climate change, and is one of the best nature-based solutions. Recent research – captured in reports by the IPCC(link is external)(link is external), IPBES(link is external)(link is external), and others—shows that community land rights lead to lower deforestation rates(link is external)(link is external), higher carbon storage, and higher biodiversity. Communities manage nearly 300 billion metric tons of carbon(link is external)(link is external). Ensuring that Indigenous Peoples and local communities’ rights to these lands are recognized and protected is vital to keeping the forests standing, and the carbon from being released into the atmosphere. In countries that provide stronger legal rights to indigenous communities to own and manage forests, there is an overwhelmingly positive correlation with reduction of land degradation, and the stabilizing of forested landscapes. As the world faces an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, more than 26 million hectares of forest are still being cut down every year. To understand the connection between land rights and climate change, it is crucial to recognize that most of the world’s forests are managed by local and indigenous communities. However, environmental degradation from deforestation and loss of biodiversity, environmental pollution, contamination of rivers and water sources and extractive industries have had a negative impact on indigenous communities. This webinar will explore the resilience of Indigenous Peoples and their capacity to face the impacts of climate change indigenous landscapes and their community responses based upon fine-tuned local knowledge. It will explore direct actions being taken by indigenous communities to defend their territories against those who seek to profit from the COVID-19 crisis and undermine these efforts.
  • 2:00 — 3:30
    VIRTUAL EVENT
    COVID-19, Regulatory Rollback and the ‘Green Recovery’: Indigenous Peoples Raise Their Voices
    Thursday, September 17th, 9:00 AM-10:30 AM EST (3:00 PM – 4:30 PM CEST) As COVID-19 has hobbled governments around the world, environmental protections have diminished or disappeared altogether, leaving the door wide open for abuse, corruption, land grabs. Indigenous peoples and their territories are prime targets to pillage during this vulnerable period. COVID-19 is already negatively affecting indigenous land rights, particularly for those who already face food insecurity as a result of land confiscation or grabbing and the loss of their territories. Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the expropriation of indigenous lands and natural resources and the increase in conflicts on their territories were already placing indigenous peoples in a particularly precarious situation. The crisis has led to reports of encroachment upon indigenous land by opportunists, such as illegal loggers and miners. In the Amazon, threats, killings and land-grabbing are all reportedly on the rise, fuelled by mainstream political trends. The United Nations has expressed alarm over attacks in Nicaragua, in Panama our partners report a spike in illegal logging and land clearance in the absence of state authorities, and in Colombia drug gangs and militias are profiting from current uncertainty to step up their deadly activities. Additionally, numerous governments have announced plans to lower environmental standards and rollback regulatory standards. These policies are likely to result in accelerated deterioration of the environment and have negative impacts on the environment, and in particular for Indigenous Peoples. On the other end of the spectrum, countries and communities see the COVID-19 crisis as a unique opportunity to seize upon a green and inclusive recovery. There is an increasing recognition of the need to scale up investments in sustainable mobility, renewable energy, building renovations, research and innovation, the recovery of biodiversity and the circular economy. Proposals include scaling up green investments and financing, as well as promoting a just transition to a green economy. This webinar will explore the effects of regulatory rollbacks on indigenous communities, but will center upon how indigenous communities can benefit from and contribute to global efforts to scale up green investments, financing and transitioning to a just and sustainable green economy.
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